Our National Broadcaster’s TV Signal Sucks!

Why is it that our national, publicly funded broadcaster, CBC/Radio Canada, chooses to provide lower-quality over-the-air (OTA) television signals than everyone else? When analog OTA signals were discontinued in 2012, CBC/Radio-Canada chose to downgrade its OTA broadcasts to 720p from 1080i, although clearly they had the equipment to provide higher resolution signals, as they had been providing 1080i for years. The broadcaster never provided any explanation.

It’s very annoying watching the Winter Olympics in lower resolution than I get on every other station! What’s also annoying is that those of us using antennas rather than cable or satellite cannot get any of the other CBC/Radio-Canada channels that cable and satellite subscribers get, such as CBC News Network or Ici RDI. As far as I know, as taxpayers we are paying for these channels! Why are we locked out? Again, other broadcasters provide multiple channels over the same broadcast bandwidth; for example, ch 33 in Vermont delivers two 1080i channels and two standard definition channels.

If I were paranoid, I would suspect that the hidden agenda of the CBC and the federal government, acting through the CRTC, is to discourage OTA television, thereby increasing profits to the private cable and satellite companies such as Rogers and Bell. Would this be another instance of regulatory capture, such as with the FCC in the U.S.?

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